List of missions to comets

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As of 2013, the United States, Soviet Union, Japan and the European Space Agency have conducted missions to comets.

Spacecraft Launch Date[1] Comet Mission Outcome Remarks Carrier rocket[2]
ICE
(ISEE-3)
12 August 1978 21P/Giacobini–Zinner Flyby 4Successful Extended mission; Closest approach of 7,862 kilometres (4,885 mi) at 11:02 UTC on 11 September 1985. Also made distant observations of 1P/Halley in May 1986.[3] Delta 2914
Vega 1
(5VK No.901)
15 December 1984 1P/Halley Flyby 4Successful Flew past Halley after visiting Venus; closest approach 8,889 kilometres (5,523 mi) at 07:20:06 UTC on 6 March 1986.[4] Proton-K/D-1
Vega 2
(5VK No.902)
21 December 1984 1P/Halley Flyby 4Successful Flew past Halley after visiting Venus; closest approach at 07:20 UTC on 9 March 1986.[5] Proton-K/D-1
Sakigake
(MS-T5)
7 January 1985 1P/Halley Flyby 4Successful Closest approach of 6.99 million kilometres (4.34 million miles) at 04:18 UTC on 11 March 1986.[6] Mu-3S-II
Giotto 1 2 July 19851 1P/Halley Flyby 4Successful Closest approach of 605 kilometres (376 mi) at 00:03:02 UTC on 14 March 1986.[7] Ariane 1
Giotto 2 2 July 19852 26P/Grigg-Skjellerup Flyby 4Successful Extended mission. Closest approach of 200 kilometres (120 mi) at 15:30 UTC on 10 July 1992.[7] Ariane 1
Suisei
(PLANET-A) 1
19 August 19851 1P/Halley Flyby 4Successful Closest approach of 152,400 kilometres (94,700 mi) at 13:06 UTC on 8 March 1986[8] Mu-3S-II
Suisei
(PLANET-A) 2
19 August 19852 21P/Giacobini–Zinner Flyby 1Spacecraft failure
(Extended mission)
Extended mission, spacecraft ran out of fuel en route; flyby had been scheduled for 24 November 1998[8] Mu-3S-II
Deep Space 1 1 24 October 19981 107P/Wilson–Harrington[9] Flyby 1Spacecraft failure Spacecraft was unable to reach Wilson–Harrington due to ion engine operation being suspended while a problem with the probe's star tracker was investigated.[10] Delta II 7326
Deep Space 1 2 24 October 19982 19P/Borrelly Flyby 4Successful Extended mission Delta II 7326
Stardust
(Discovery 4)
7 February 1999 81P/Wild Flyby
Sample return
4Successful Delta II 7426
Stardust
(Discovery 4)
7 February 1999 9P/Tempel Flyby 4Successful Extended mission, Stardust-NExT, to survey crater caused by Deep Impact Delta II 7426
CONTOUR
(Discovery 6)
3 July 2002 2P/Encke Flyby 1Spacecraft failure Delta II 7425
CONTOUR
(Discovery 6)
3 July 2002 73P/Schwassmann–Wachmann Flyby 1Spacecraft failure Delta II 7425
CONTOUR
(Discovery 6)
3 July 2002 6P/d'Arrest Flyby 1Spacecraft failure Flyby provisionally scheduled at time of spacecraft's failure Delta II 7425
Rosetta 2 March 2004 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko Orbiter 6In orbit Ariane 5G+
Philae 2 March 2004 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko Lander 6Attached to Rosetta Ariane 5G+
Deep Impact
(Discovery 7)
12 January 2005 9P/Tempel Flyby/Impactor 5Successful Delta II 7925
Deep Impact
(Discovery 7)
12 January 2005 103P/Hartley Flyby 5Successful Extended mission (EPOXI) Delta II 7925

References[edit]

  1. ^ McDowell, Jonathan. "Launch Log". Jonathan's Space Page. Retrieved 21 January 2013. 
  2. ^ Krebs, Gunter. "Interplanetary Probes". Gunter's Space Page. Retrieved 21 January 2013. 
  3. ^ "Solar System Exploration - ISEE-3/ICE - Read More". NASA. Retrieved 23 April 2013. 
  4. ^ "Solar System Exploration - Vega 1 - Read More". NASA. Retrieved 23 April 2013. 
  5. ^ "Solar System Exploration - Vega 2 - Read More". NASA. Retrieved 23 April 2013. 
  6. ^ "Solar System Exploration - Sakigake - Read More". NASA. Retrieved 23 April 2013. 
  7. ^ a b "Solar System Exploration - Giotto - Read More". NASA. Retrieved 23 April 2013. 
  8. ^ a b "Solar System Exploration - Suisei - Read More". NASA. Retrieved 23 April 2013. 
  9. ^ Wilson-Harrington is catalogued as both a comet and an asteroid
  10. ^ "Solar System Exploration - Deep Space 1 - Read More". NASA. Retrieved 23 April 2013.